U.S. Department of Education to award multi-million grant to fund Arkansas district-conversion & open-enrollment charter schools

The Arkansas Public School Resource Center is pleased to announce that the US Department of Education awarded APSRC a $23 million-dollar grant to help accomplish three goals:

  • To increase the number of high-quality district-conversion and open-enrollment charter schools with an emphasis on those that serve educationally disadvantaged students
  • To improve student outcomes, particularly where educationally disadvantaged students are concerned
  • To disseminate best practices

Subgrants are available on a competitive basis to support both planning and implementation with a maximum subgrant period of three (3) years. Schools serving higher percentages of educationally disadvantaged students may receive supplemental funding. APSRC will announce awards only after the authorizer renders a decision on authorization.

Announcements, guidelines, and resources are available on this web page for subgrant applicants. Those seeking additional information may contact JoAnna Lever, Director of Charter Development and Accountability, at 501.492.4300 or by clicking here.

charter schools program subgrants

Charter Schools Program Grant Eligibility

Only brick-and-mortar meeting the federal definition of developers and charter schools are eligible to apply; virtual charter schools are ineligible.

Eligible applicants must be developers who have:

  1. applied to an authorized public chartering authority to operate a charter school; and
  2. provided adequate and timely notice to that authority. A developer means an individual or group of individuals (including a public or private nonprofit organization), which may include teachers, administrators, and other school staff, parents, or other members of the local community in which a charter school project will be carried out.

To be eligible through the APSRC Charter Development Grant, brick-and-mortar charter applicants must be either:

i. A new open-enrollment charter school that has received approval from the authorizer;

ii. A new district conversion charter school that has received approval from the authorizer; or

iii. An existing charter school that has received approval to expand from the authorizer.

Expanding existing charters must be applying for startup funds to support a material expansion that results in new student seats.

  • Only expanding open-enrollment charters qualify for an expansion grant.
  • Charter schools that are expanding must meet the definition of a high-quality charter school as well as the definition of expanding in accordance section 4310(7-9) of the ESSA and the definitions provided herein under the subheading “Definitions.” Schools that do not meet these definitions are not eligible for subgrant funding.
  • If an existing charter has received a CSP grant within the previous 5 years, the charter applying must not have received a CSP start up grant for the same activities, must meet the definition of a high-quality charter school and must have at least 3 years of improved educational results in accordance with section 4303(e)(2) of the ESEA.

2019 charter schools program subgrantees

Expansion Subgrantees:

  • Friendship Aspire Academy Middle School
  • LISA Academy North

Open-Enrollment Subgrantees:

  • Hope Academy of Northwest Arkansas
  • Premier High School of North Little Rock

District-Conversion Subgrantees:

  • will be announced December 6, 2019